The Black Dahlia Study Guide

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

The fight sells out within 24 hours and publicity is high. A song about the match is written and played on the radio. Bucky and Lee are local celebrities.

Bucky trains hard for the match until he sees his father. Bucky’s father is not mentally well. He has had several strokes which have caused him to forget English. His father can only speak German and is associated with a pro- Nazi group. Bucky blames his father for his mother’s death.

Bucky liquidates his savings and has a friend bet on Lee to win the fight. He plans on using the winnings to put his father in a rest home.

Kay flirts with Bucky at the gym. He asks why she and Lee never married. She says they can’t, but does not go into details, except for telling Bucky that she doesn’t sleep with Lee.

Bucky does some research on Kay and Lee. He discovers Lee’s nine year old sister was killed when he was fourteen.

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